Assorted New York Times blogging

Three disasters, followed by two non-disasters:

  1. The Times style guide can’t really require the punctuation pattern in this paragraph, can it?

    The 44th president is enlisting the 42nd president, both as a historical validator of his own leadership and as a PIN code to one of the richest A.T.M.’s in American politics.

    On a related note, is this the first time the word “frenemies” has been used earnestly in the Times?

  2. Challenge: try to justify the author’s quotations of Candide in this article.  (My favorite part about them is not the failure of the references to add anything to the article, nor the pretentiousness with which they’re delivered, but rather the failure of the pretentiousness: I know the quoted lines, and I’ve never read Voltaire!)  Actually, I’m not even sure the quote-dropping rises to the level of worst sentence in the article; the competition includes, “The laughingstock has become the leader as the air has gone from legendarily bad to much improved,” and, “And it gobbles up the carbon dioxide contributing to high ozone levels, especially this time of year when the sun is strong, and the rains are rare.”
  3. I know this is a lost battle, but someone should suggest to Michael Shear that the appropriate way to follow the sentence “Advocates of the new laws, which have been passed in about 30 states since the last presidential election, say they are necessary to prevent voter fraud,” is by noting that these claims are factually false, rather than by finding Republicans to repeat the false statements in their own words.
  4. This E. L. Doctorow piece packs a punch.
  5. This article on the decay of the old farm infrastructure of the plains states as represented by the phenomenon of trees growing in old silos is cute; Ken Wolf, one of the interviewees, photographs them as a hobby, and via the magic of the internet you can see many of his photos here.
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